x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Family mourns death-crash students

Two 17-year-old friends die after their motorbike collides with a car.

Ujjwal Kapasi and Shivani Pahlajani were travelling on a motorcycle when they collided with a car.
Ujjwal Kapasi and Shivani Pahlajani were travelling on a motorcycle when they collided with a car.

DUBAI // Families and friends are grieving the deaths of two 17-year-old students in a motorcycle accident in the city's Satwa area.

Shivani Pahlajani, from the Emirates International School, and her friend Ujjwal Kapasi, a pupil of the Dubai Gem Private School, collided with a car while riding a motorbike at 12.30am on Friday near Al Diyafaa Street. Mr Kapasi died at the scene, while Ms Pahlajani died of her injuries in hospital. Both were Grade 12 students.

"It is an irreparable loss," said Mr Ram Pahlajani, Ms Pahlajani's uncle. "Her parents are still trying to come to terms with what happened. They have to bear the pain of losing their daughter."

He said Ms Pahlajani's parents returned home from a party late and thought she was asleep. When she did not emerge from her room on Friday morning, they realised she was missing. "After making a few calls, we got to know of the accident. By the time we identified the body, it was noon," Mr Pahlajani said.

"We desperately want to know why things went wrong. We want to take up the matter further to know exactly how the accident happened. We do not know whose fault it was," he said.

A friend of the teenagers thought they were pulling a prank after receiving news of the deaths. "Since we got to know of the accident on April 1, we thought they were playing a joke on us," said Tina Kothari, a close friend of Ms Pahlajani and a classmate of Mr Kapasi, both of whom she had known since childhood.

"Shivani was such a beautiful person," she said. "She was really sweet and helpful. She always kept in touch with all her friends. Ujjwal was very helpful and friendly and also very religious.

"The two were best friends and they always kept everyone around them entertained and happy. They were really close to their families."

Ms Pahlajani's body was cremated on Sunday and Mr Kapasi's parents left for India this week for the funeral.

Last year, eight people were killed and another 12 were seriously injured in more than 100 motorbike accidents on Dubai roads, according to Dubai Police statistics.

pkannan@thenational.ae

* With additional reporting by Wafa Issa